It is December 28, 2001.
For the past month, Grandpa’s record player has been dedicated
Almost exclusively to Nat King Cole’s Christmas album.
It has been 28 days of “The Christmas Song,” “Joy to the World,” and “O Holy Night”
But today your home rests in an unusual state of quiet.
Scraps of wrapping paper and tinsel decorate the floor.
The hardwoods feel the absence of three jovial children and one fluffy, four-legged angel.
Today, they’re down the street at Aunt Jen’s house,
Patiently waiting for the arrival of their newest family member.
Mary is ecstatic and unaware that she will be my second mother,
Katie tenderly welcomes yet another squishy-faced baby into her life,
Chris prays that I’m a boy and drops the phone dramatically
when you call to tell him that he has a third sister.
Luckily his disappointment is short-lived
And when they meet me for the first time, he becomes increasingly concerned about me,
Specifically, the “cuts” and “acne” on my face.
Newsflash, Christopher: I just exited a womb; my skin is doing its best.
Mom, despite having just given birth to your fourth child,
You let everyone pile into your hospital bed
And swaddle me in a soft purple blanket.
Dad, you’re behind the video camera,
Capturing the welcome of a very lucky Christmas baby.